​Arsenal have joined the race to sign Norwich City defender Max Aarons and are expected to match any bid made by city rivals Tottenham in January.

Aarons has produced a number of highly impressive performances this season for the Canaries in the Championship after making his league debut in the east Anglian derby against Ipswich in September.

The 18-year-old plays primarily as a right back but has also featured occasionally on the left-hand side of defence for ​Norwich.

Ipswich Town v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship

Reports in the ​Daily Mirror suggest that Arsenal and Tottenham could sign Aarons for £15m in January.

However, with the Canaries currently second in the Championship table and fighting for promotion, they will only listen to offers that include the option of loaning back their star defender for the rest of the season.

This type of deal would suit ​Spurs more than Arsenal as they already have a number of full backs at the club who have Premier League experience and so they could afford to wait for Aarons to arrive in the summer.

Cardiff City v Norwich City - Carabao Cup Second Round

​The Gunners meanwhile are suffering from an extensive injury crisis in defence and will be looking to strengthen their squad as soon as possible as they try to stay in contention for the top four.

With starting right-back Hector Bellerin currently sidelined with a calf injury, summer signing Stephan Lichtsteiner has been playing in his place yet has struggled in recent weeks to adapt to the pace of the Premier League.

As Unai Emery's defensive dilemma grows, he could make the decision to sign Aarons, offering the England Under-19 international the incentive of immediate first-team action at the Emirates.